When I first heard Robert Cray’s hit single, "Smoking Gun," back in 1986, my reaction was that this was a new take on the blues, one that took Muddy, the Wolf, Buddy and Junior, and the others, and added a sense of melody, mixing in elements of soul and rock and still making it sound like something you might hear in one of the blues clubs on the South Side of Chicago. Of course, I ran out and bought the album, Strong Persuader, and played the grooves off of it, and wondered when he’d come out with another album, because I needed more.
That’s when I learned that Strong Persuader was in fact Robert’s fourth album, that there were three previous albums, two on High Tone Records and one on a small label called Tomato Records. I ran out and bought those three on cassette (remember that format?) and played them until they wore out and wrapped themselves around the capstan in my Honda’s tape deck. (See how far we’ve come?)
Anyway, Cathy played Strong Persuader on her blog yesterday (she does MMMM on Sunday), and I thought that was a great idea, so I’m playing his second album, 1983’s Bad Influence.
The track list, from Wikipedia:
- "Phone Booth" (Robert Cray, Richard Cousins, Dennis Walker, Mike Vannice) (3:32)
- "Bad Influence" (Cray, Mike Vannice) (2:56)
- "Grinder" (Cray, David Amy) (4:09)
- "To Make a Comeback" (Eddie Floyd, Joe Shamwell) (5:52)
- "So Many Women, So Little Time" (Oscar Washington, David Amy, N.T. Clemens) (4:01)
- "Where Do I Go from Here" (Cray, Mike Vannice, Dennis Walker) (4:03)
- "Waiting for the Tide to Turn" (Cray, Mike Vannice, Dennis Walker) (3:31)
- "March On’" (Cray) (2:25)
- "Don’t Touch Me" (Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Shawn Dewey) (3:25)
- "No Big Deal" (Cray, David Amy) (4:14)
- "Share What You’ve Got, Keep What You Need" (Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper) (3:50)
- "I Got Loaded" (Robert Camille) (3:37)
- Robert Cray – vocals, guitar
- Richard Cousins – bass
- David Olson – drums
- Mike Vannice – keyboards, tenor saxophone
- Warren Rand – alto saxophone
- David Li – percussion on "No Big Deal"
- "Night Train" Clemens, Philip Walker, Tony Mathews – backing vocals on "So Many Women, So Little Time"
Hope you’ve enjoyed Robert Cray’s Bad Influence. That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for October 4, 2021.